Sunday, August 05, 2018

Cessna 414, N727RP: Fatal accident occurred August 05, 2018 near John Wayne Airport (KSNA), Santa Ana, Orange County, California

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Long Beach, California

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Santa Ana, CA
Accident Number: WPR18FA211
Date & Time: 08/05/2018, 1229 PDT
Registration: N727RP
Aircraft: Cessna 414
Injuries: 5 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Business 

On August 5, 2018, about 1229 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 414 airplane, N727RP, sustained substantial damage when it impacted the ground in a shopping mall parking lot in Santa Ana, California. The private pilot and four passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Category III Aviation Corporation under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a business flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight. The flight departed Buchanan Field Airport (CCA), Concord, California, about 1022 and was destined for John Wayne-Orange County Airport (SNA), Santa Ana, California.

A review of the SNA Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) audio tape revealed that the pilot established contact with the control tower controller when he was west of the airport descending to 1,700 ft mean sea level (msl). The pilot was told to expect right traffic to runway 20R. The controller then queried the pilot to determine if he could accept runway 20L, and the pilot responded that he was unable to land on runway 20L. The controller then instructed the pilot to hold over the South Coast Plaza, a local holding point for aircraft operating under visual flight rules (VFR), and to conduct left 360oturns for sequencing. When the accident airplane arrived at the holding point, the pilot responded that he could accept runway 20L for landing. The pilot was then instructed to continue his turn to accomplish a left 270° turn and to cross mid-field at or above 1,300 ft msl, for left traffic to runway 20L. The pilot acknowledged that instruction. The controller then instructed the pilot to climb to 1,300 ft msl.

A review of the preliminary radar data showed that at 1228, the airplane was about 1-mile northwest of SNA, traveling eastbound at an altitude of about 1,000 ft msl. The airplane began a left turn and the last radar return was recorded at 1229. At this time, the airplane was descending through an altitude of about 494 ft msl.

Multiple witnesses near the accident site observed the airplane enter the left bank turn and shortly thereafter, they observed the bank angle increase and the airplane descend towards the ground at a steep angle. During the descent, the pilot transmitted "emergency" three times. The airplane did not recover from the descent and collided with several vehicles in a shopping mall parking lot before coming to rest upright about 35 ft from the entrance of a major store.

Examination of the accident site by the National Transportation Safety Board investigators revealed that that all major components of the airplane were located throughout the 150 ft long debris path.

The airplane wreckage was recovered to a secure storage facility for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N727RP
Model/Series: 414 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSNA, 56 ft msl
Observation Time: 1953 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point:  27°C / 18°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots / , 210°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.86 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Concord, CA (CCR)
Destination: Santa Ana, CA (SNA)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 4 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 5 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 33.696111, -117.884444 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Dashcam video shows a Cessna 414 as it fell from the sky, head first, around 12:30 p.m. Sunday. None of the five people on board survived.

"It just banked, he turned and it just came straight down," witness Alex Perkins said.

The victims all worked for a Northern California real estate consulting firm and were on their way to a real estate conference in Orange County, reports CBS News correspondent Mireya Villarreal. Some of them were related to each other. It happened on a busy weekend shopping day in a highly-traveled retail area with a large mall just a block away. 

Cellphone video shows the chaotic scene just after the plane crashed in an Orange County parking lot, smashing into a car. The car was unoccupied.

"Fortunately, that person was inside the store shopping at the time of impact," Orange County Fire Authority's Tony Bommarito said.

Nearby shoppers said the fixed-wing aircraft made a sputtering noise as it dropped head-first to the ground. The FAA said the pilot, identified as Scott Shepherd, declared an emergency just before the crash.

Shepherd was the owner of a San Francisco real estate consulting firm, Category III Aviation Corp. The coroner identified the other victims as Lara Shepherd, Floria and Navid Hakimi, and Nasim Ghanadan. The plane had taken off from Concord, heading for John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana just about one mile from the crash site. Floria posted a photo to Instagram about two hours before the crash with the caption, "Flying out to LA." The plane she was boarding appears to have the same markings as the one that crashed.

"It does look like it came down pretty abruptly," Bommarito said, adding, "There's a small impact zone."

Federal investigators are now trying to determine why the plane went down so close to its final destination.

"I don't know anything about what this pilot did or what he was thinking but it could have been much more tragic ... The fact that there was no injuries on ground is a miracle in itself," Bommarito said.

The pilot had many years of experience. According to a records search, his license was renewed last year.

Story and video ➤

Shortly after noon on Sunday, the control tower at John Wayne Airport received a distressed call demanding an emergency landing coming from a twin engine Cessna inbound from Buchanan Field Airport in Concord, California. Minutes later, at roughly 12:38 p.m., the Cessna crashed into a red Chevrolet sedan parked outside of Staples off Bristol across from South Coast Plaza, only a few short miles away from the runway of John Wayne Airport. All five passengers aboard the seven-seat 1973 Cessna Series 414 were killed instantly.

A local employee, who requested anonymity, recounted the incident. “I looked up and saw the plane turning left and making a weird noise and thought, ‘What the hell is happening?'” the witness said. “Then it began nosediving, fast, and then it hit the car. After it hit, there was no explosion or fire.”

The sheared Cessna lay scattered across the asphalt. The rear of the red Chevrolet sedan hit by the plane was crushed. The car’s owner had parked minutes before the crash and was inside shopping at Staples, according to the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA). 

Many witnesses expected there to be an explosion and kept their distance, but no explosion came. Typically, the 100 octane fuel in a Cessna is highly combustible, according to the OCFA. Fire authorities investigating the crash have said that the lack of fire or explosion was surprising.

Alex Perkins was walking into Staples when he heard a loud sputter from the planes engine and saw the Cessna drop from the sky. Perkins, a former paramedic, saw two of the plane’s passengers on the ground and ran to help. Perkins checked the pulses of the two men, but no heartbeat registered. He then looked inside the Cessna and saw that the man in the pilot’s seat and the two passengers in the rear of the plane were all deceased.

The pilot, Scott Shepherd, along with the four passengers–Navid Hakimi, Floria Hakimi, Nasim Ghanadan, and Lara Shepherd- left Concord at 10:23 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration. All five worked together at Union Pacific Real Estate in Danville, and were en route to a real estate conference in Southern California. According to Union Pacific, Scott Shepherd was an experienced pilot. 

“This is an absolute tragedy,” said Orange County Fire Authority Captain Steve Concialdi. “This is an extremely busy parking lot and it’s a miracle that nobody on the ground was hurt in the crash.”

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is heading the investigation into the crash, and expects to release a preliminary report within one to two weeks. Following the initial report, the NTSB says a full report will be released within 12 to 24 months. Sunday’s tragic crash is the second fatal one related to John Wayne this year, and is the airport’s third major incident of 2018.

On January 28, a single engine Beech airplane piloted by a 24-year-old man was forced to fly underneath an overpass of the 55 freeway and land on the northbound Del Mar exit. Fortunately, nobody was injured.

Two days after the January 28 incident, another crash from John Wayne ended tragically. Shortly after leaving John Wayne, a small helicopter crashed into a home in Newport Beach. Three of the passengers aboard the helicopter were killed, while two sustained serious injuries.

Private aircraft crashes and incidents are unsurprisingly frequent at John Wayne Airport. Since 2010, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) reports 21 confirmed minor incidents with aircraft landing at John Wayne Airport. Each of the 21 confirmed minor incidents involved small private aircraft similar to the Beech that landed on the freeway, and the Cessna that crashed on Sunday.

These are sad, but unsurprising statistics given the number of private flights out of John Wayne. According to Deanne Thompson, spokesperson for John Wayne, roughly 70 percent of the airport’s flights are from private general aviation aircraft.

“There have been 26,643 total landings in June of 2018,” Thompson said. “General aviation flights [private planes] made up 69.8 percent of landings. Last year, we served 10.6 million passengers, and this year we’re on track to surpass that. But most of those passengers fly commercially, and those flights make up only 30 percent of our flights.” According to FAA data, Santa Ana was the 40th busiest passenger traffic airport in the country in 2016, and the sixth busiest airport in California.

Witnesses and authorities speculate that Sunday’s fatal crash likely had to do with a problem with the engine. Many believe the plane ran out of fuel, and point to the sound of the engine and the lack of fire as evidence. According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association data on the Cessna 414, a well equipped Cessna with six passengers and luggage could fly for about two hours. The NTSB, FAA, and OCFA have all opted not to comment on the cause of the crash, and say that the preliminary report will provide more information.

Until then, our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims. 

Original article can be found here ➤

Officials on Monday identified five people killed after the small plane they were on the day before crashed in a Santa Ana parking lot.

Authorities said the Cessna 414 aircraft—registered to a San Francisco real estate firm—went down at 12:28 p.m. on Sunday at the parking lot of a Staples store in the 3900 block of Bristol Street, about two miles away from its destination, John Wayne Airport.

The plane left the Buchanan Field Airport in Concord at 10:23 a.m. and was scheduled to arrive at the Santa Ana airport at 12:30 p.m., according to

"The pilot declared an emergency, however, he did not state the nature of the problem," Albert Nixon, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, said at a news conference on Monday.

The victims  include Navid Hakimi, 32, of Los Angeles; Floria Hakimi, 62, of Danville; Nasim Ghanadan, 29, of Alamo; Scott Shepherd, 53, and Lara Shepherd, 42, both of Diablo, according to the Orange County Coroner. There were no other passengers on the plane.

Scott Shepherd piloted the aircraft, the coroner said. Public records show he lived in the same home as Lara Shepherd.

The same address was also listed for Floria and Navid Hakimi. Social media posts suggest they were mother and son.

Ghanadan worked as a real estate consultant who lived in the Bay Area.

The crash did not ignite a fire, and nobody on the ground was hurt.

Matt Robinson, an aviation expert with the Southern California Safety Institute, said the minimal evidence of a post-crash fire suggests there was minimal fuel on board at the time.

The driver of a car struck by the aircraft was shopping inside Staples at the time, according to O.C. Fire Authority. Three other vehicles were hit, NTSB said.

"I was working and I hear a loud thud," said Christian Tornero, who worked at a store in the area. "I thought it was like a semitruck that just tipped over or something."

A woman shopping nearby said it sounded like a truck was running something over until she saw the plane.

"There was just nothing left and you could smell the gas," Kathy Hayden said.

According to O.C. Fire Authority, a group of firefighters having lunch across the street jumped on their truck and rushed to the scene after one of them heard screaming.

"And somebody — one of the patrons — yelled, and they looked up and saw the plane coming down towards the parking lot," agency spokesman Steve Concialdi said.

All of the victims were declared dead at the scene, according to O.C. Fire Authority.

The mangled aircraft remained at the parking lot on Monday morning as officials worked on determining the cause of the crash.

Federal transportation investigators are looking at factors such as the pilot's level of experience, whether there was enough fuel on board, or if there was an engine failure and how any of that may have contributed to the deadly crash.

NTSB said it expected to have a final report in 12 to 18 months, but will issue a preliminary report much sooner — possibly as soon as next week.

Story and video ➤

Four Contra Costa County residents and a Los Angeles man have been identified as the victims in the crash of a Cessna 414 that left five people dead near a Santa Ana shopping center on Sunday, officials said.

The Orange County coroner’s office on Monday identified the victims as Scott Shepherd, 53, of Diablo; Lara Shepherd, 42, of Diablo; Nasim Ghanadan, 29, of Alamo; Floria Hakimi, 62, of Danville; and Navid Hakimi, 32, of Los Angeles.

Scott Shepherd, who was flying the Cessna 414, declared an emergency before the plane crashed in the parking lot of a Staples office supply store in the 3800 block of Bristol Street, near the South Coast Plaza shopping center, officials said.

The pilot did not specify what the emergency was, according to Albert Nixon, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board. Investigators have not determined what caused the crash.

Witnesses said they saw the plane turn before it suddenly began to dive toward the shopping center. Video taken by people on the ground and posted on social media shows a crumpled airplane with two broken sections and at least one body outside the aircraft.

The plane struck a red Chevrolet sedan that was parked in the shopping center and damaged three other vehicles, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. No one on the ground was injured.

Lara Shepherd, Floria Hakimi and Ghanadan were all Realtors with Pacific Union International, the eighth-largest real estate brokerage firm in the country, according to the company’s website. Lara’s husband, Scott, was also a real estate developer in the Bay Area, according to her profile on the Pacific Union website.

The Shepherds have two children, according to Lara’s profile on the real estate site.

Pacific Union International, which is largely focused on the Bay Area and Northern California, began doing business in the Los Angeles area earlier this year.

FAA records show that the airplane was owned by Category III Aviation Corp., a real estate consulting firm in San Francisco, and was bound for John Wayne Airport, which is about a mile from the crash site. An FAA spokeswoman could not say where the flight departed from.

Category III Aviation Corp. did not respond to a request for comment.

On Monday morning, National Transportation Safety Board investigators snapped photos of the wreckage strewn across the parking lot directly in front of the Staples store. Officials are expected to move the wreckage from the shopping center on Monday to continue their investigation.

Witnesses and fire officials said there was no explosion when the plane slammed into the ground.

“We looked up to see the plane falling nose first,” Ella Pham, 20, of Santa Ana, said Sunday. “We really didn’t think it was a plane at first due to no crashing noise, but as soon as we saw people running from across the street we went to go check it out.”

“It was so heartbreaking just seeing the plane crumbled into pieces,” she said.

The lack of an explosion on impact has raised questions about whether the plane had ran out of fuel. On Monday, National Transportation Safety Board officials said it was too early to tell and that they would look more into the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Five people were killed when a small plane they were in crashed Sunday afternoon in a Santa Ana parking lot near South Coast Plaza.

Family members identified one of the victims killed as Nasim Ghanadan, who is a realtor at Pacific Union in the East Bay and was on the flight for work. They said she was 29 years old.

A spokesperson for Pacific Union says that all of the passengers on the flight worked for the company.

Ghanadan's biography on the company's website says, "Nasim's clients appreciate her honesty, tenacious work ethic, strong negotiation skills and cheerful spirit."

The crash occurred at 12:28 p.m. in the 3800 block of Bristol Street, a spokesperson for the Santa Ana Police Department said, adding that no one on the ground was injured.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Cessna 414 aircraft declared an emergency before slamming into the parking lot.

The plane struck at least one unoccupied vehicle, whose owner was elsewhere shopping at the time.

"Nobody on the ground was injured, so I don't know anything about what this pilot did or what he was thinking, but it could have been much more tragic. This is a Sunday afternoon, and we have people shopping, so the fact that there are no injuries on the ground is a miracle in itself," said Capt. Tony Bommarito, a spokesman for the Orange County Fire Authority.

The crash site is just north of the popular South Coast Plaza shopping mall and a few blocks northwest of John Wayne Airport, which was the pilot's destination.

The plane is registered to the San Francisco-based real estate company Category III and had left Concord, according to an FAA database.

The identities of the other victims have not yet been released.

Bommarito said responding firefighters did not encounter any flames in the wreckage.

Crews were working to clean up spilled fuel at the location. Meanwhile, Bristol was closed between Sunflower Avenue and Callen's Common.

The cause of the incident will be investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Original article can be found here ➤

Five people died in a plane crash Sunday afternoon in Santa Ana, and the family of one of the victims identified 29-year-old Nasim Ghanadan as one of the victims, per NBC's Bay Area affiliate, KNTV.

The family of the victim said that it received a call from a sheriff's department notifying relatives that Ghandan had died in the crash, though the family did not clarify which sheriff's department contacted the family.

Ghanadan worked for a real estate company called Pacific Union in Danville, California. The flight originated in nearby Concord, California.

Authorities confirmed that all five people on board were adults and that all five people on the plane died in the crash. No one on the ground was injured in the crash.

The pilot of the plane declared an emergency, but the flight was unable to reach nearby John Wayne Airport and crashed into an Orange County parking lot in front of a Staples store at approximately 12:30 p.m.

The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation into the crash, with the FAA providing assistance.

Original article can be found here ➤

Five people were killed when their Cessna 414 crashed near South Coast Plaza in Santa Ana on Sunday afternoon, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.

The plane crashed in the parking lot of a Staples office supply store in the 3800 block of Bristol Street, fire authority spokesman Stephen Concialdi said.

OCFA Capt. Tony Bommarito said the plane struck an unoccupied parked vehicle.

"Fortunately, that person was inside the store shopping at the time of the impact," Bommarito told reporters during a news conference. “I don’t know anything about what this pilot did or what he was thinking, but it could have been much more tragic.

“This is a Sunday afternoon and we had people shopping so the fact that there were no injuries on the ground is a miracle in itself,” he added.

The pilot of the Cessna 414 declared an emergency before the plane crashed into the parking lot of a shopping center, about a mile from John Wayne Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Officials have not released the identities of the five who were killed.

Witnesses said they saw the plane turn before it suddenly began to dive into the shopping center. Video footage taken by those on the ground and posted on social media shows a crumbled airplane with two broken sections and at least one body outside the aircraft.

A dashcam on a vehicle captured the moment before the plane dove near Sunflower Avenue and Bristol Street.

Ella Pham, 20, of Santa Ana, said she and her boyfriend were leaving the parking lot to go to South Coast Plaza when they noticed the aircraft.

“We looked up to see the plane falling nose first,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “We really didn’t think it was a plane at first due to no crashing noise, but as soon as we saw people running from across the street we went to go check it out.

“It was so heartbreaking just seeing the plane crumbled into pieces.”

Pham said there was no explosion, a detail that fire officials also noted during the news conference.

“A lot of people tried to help until they saw that it was hard to get inside the aircraft but by the time people stepped away, firefighters and police were there,” she said.

FAA records show the fixed-wing airplane was owned by Category III Aviation Corp., a real estate consulting firm in San Francisco, and was bound for John Wayne Airport.

“We do not have confirmation on a departure airport at this time,” said Arlene Salac, an FAA spokeswoman.

The company did not respond to a request for comment.

The FAA will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause of the accident.

The crash came about a year after a twin-engine airplane burst into flames as it crash-landed on the 405 Freeway just a few miles away after taking off from John Wayne Airport. Video showed the aircraft bursting into flames and a tall plume of black smoke rising into the air. A husband and wife, who survived, were pulled from the aircraft by an off-duty firefighter from Avalon.


  1. Aircraft had reciprocating engines, and therefore did not use Jet Fuel, but 100ll gasoline

    1. Yes I caught the same error. Last o Checked a c414 didn't have turbines. I would be embarrassed if I wrote that story people died on board. At least get the facts correct

  2. So sad. I might have been the last person to see these people alive. I was walking outside South Coast Plaza and I looked up to see this aircraft. I thought it was a little low for the pattern at John Wayne, but it’s gear was down so I thought he was making a short approach. I looked away and did not see the crash.

  3. There have been instances in the past where line service put Jet-A fuel in the wrong type of aircraft. (Happened to Bob Hoover years ago with his Shrike Commander). So maybe this is accurate. Time will tell

  4. The aircraft flew 2 hours before the accident so mistaken fueling with Jet-A highly improbable. No post crash fire could be a major clue. To the passengers on the flight, may you rest in peace.

  5. No fire, one propeller can be seen in the trunk area of the red car it has no cordwise twisting, the blades are straight.

  6. Why are planes built in 1973 still flying passengers around? I wouldn’t feel safe in a car built back then. So sad that lives were lost.

    1. Airplanes don't age like other vehicles due to rigorous maintenance procedures.

  7. Couldn’t be Jet A mistake as it flew all the way from Concord, CA.

    Planes from the early 70s fly because many are well maintained, little used and a good bargain for the buck. This one looked to be one of those. Planes are not cars.

  8. As to why old General Aviation airplanes are allowed to fly, Airplanes are required to have annual Inspections where the engines are tested, flight controls, wheels, tires, braking systems, electrical, etc. Aircraft are partially disassembled for the inspections and must be signed off as airworthy by mechanics with training and authorization from the FAA. There are lots of regulations and requirements that must be complied with to maintain legal airworthiness.

  9. The piston does not necessarily mean that the plane would not take Jet-A, I have a piston Jet-A Diamond DA40NG.

    People that are not pilots may not realize that old planes are usually safe because they are required to be inspected at least every year and deemed flightworthy by an FAA licensed inspector.

    That said, modern airplanes have many safety features that older planes do not have. I learned to fly in a plane that was 40 years old and I never felt that the plane was unsafe. I do however feel much better flying newer aircraft with modern electronics and safety features. My plane is two years old and is statistically one of the safest planes you can fly, but even my plane does not fly well without fuel.

  10. Crash had occurred almost a mile to the right of the active runways center line, and directly abeam of its threshold, all on a very calm and sunny day.


  11. Early 414s had somewhat complicated fuel systems and numerous tanks that required switching properly. Transfer fuel at the wrong time and it can get pumped overboard. I don’t see evidence of a post-crash fire...

  12. I hate to consider this could be another case of fuel exhaustion. It's possible they weren't carrying full tanks with 5 on board and perhaps luggage. Even more plausible is mismanaged fuel tanks. Older 414s are known for having a very complex fuel system with as many as 6 tanks to manage. Very sad for everyone involved.

    I'm sure it's coincidental but a lot of highly publicized accidents over the last year approaching/departing KSNA.

  13. This pilot's single-engine proficiency is unknown (however perhaps now it may soon be known). Amazing that the fuselage had remained somewhat intact after both wings were shed in such verticle dive.

  14. Shed after impact that is.

  15. Looks like not a single drop of Av gas in the parking lot. No stains, No hazmat, no foam, no fuel recovery team. From looking at the pictures it is broken enough to puncture tanks/lines. Obviously no fire. No prop rotating damage and the witnesses said it was silent when it augured in.
    After flying 400 miles I will be shocked if this isn't fuel starvation followed by not keeping airspeed. Either wasn't full, dumped fuel on accident, had a fuel leak somewhere could be a lot of reason a plane with a 1500 mile range ran out.
    Praying for all involved :(

  16. Some Cessna 414's used Allison turbines and there were conversions to diesel engines that use Jet A fuel.

  17. It appears from Flightaware that the preceding arrival was a Boeing 757. Maybe another wake turbulence upset?

  18. Wake is an interesting theory. Nothing for me is more curious than no post crash fire - not even a little bit.

  19. Possibly starved one engine of fuel if orbiting with low fuel quantity. To exacerbate the danger, it would be the engine the pilot was turning towards losing power due to gravity and fuel flowing away from the fuel pickup. Losing power on the "turning into" engine while maintaining power on the "turning away from" engine will cause the aircraft to roll over, especially if pilot reacted by adding full power to the still running outside engine. If pilot had low enough experience to get into this situation, he/she likely didn't have the skill to get out of this situation. A trend appears to be in place for low experience pilots buying/flying complex aircraft because they can afford them. Similar poor decision making was evident in the PA24 crash at SDL in April. How sad for the families.

  20. No fire isn't that unusual.

    See this demo of burning properties of different fuel including jet fuel and av 100.

    There are many crashes full of fuel without fire. The Arizona Cessna 210 that crashed January 2017 was fueled and had no fire. I think the wings were stripped off at impact so that's where the fuel would have been.

  21. Sorry forgot to post the video:

  22. Its clear what happened

    The aircraft was cruising at 11400 feet all the way down from Concord,

    ADS-B transmission at 18:58 UTC showing the aircraft in level cruise flight but overspeed at 212 knots

    Note that the Vno normal maximum operating speed of the C414 is 203 Knots
    Also note that the Vne never exceed speed is 237 knots

    Look up Vne and you non pilot types will understand that at this speed is where structural damage will occur (i.e. ripping off things like flaps or other surfaces)

    now TOD (top of descent) started at 1904 and the ADS-B transmission shows the aircraft at 11200 starting its descent the the airspeed at 253 Kts


    The pilot failed to maintain the aircraft speed during the transition from cruise and most of the way into the descent

    The airspeed was eventually reduced to about 120 to 130 region with aircraft approaching the field

    above this time would be where flap and gear extensions would be made

    It is highly likely that if an asymmetrical flap condition occurred the aircraft would roll right out of the sky and not enough aileron to counteract it

    im sorry to say but the speed reduction later in flight shows the aircraft was controllable and the pilot allowed this to overspeed and likely a separation of a flight control happened that became apparent when they were extended

  23. Also the history of the last 10 flights on this aircraft show the aircraft operated within the Vno limits throughout there entire flight except for this event flight and the flight just before it

    each show excursions of airspeed above the Vne speed of 237

    Please pilots dont get in a hurry and disregard Vne and Vno speeds

    they exist for the structural safety of the aircraft

  24. How do you know what the KIAS was?

  25. Let me guess ... The above poster doesn't quite have a grasp of different speeds .... Indicated, true, ground ....

  26. Dont ADSb transmissions show groundspeed?

  27. Yes obviously those are ground speeds that are being posted. A 414 cannot do 212 kts "indicated" in cruise. At 11,000 ft in level flight it would likely indicate around 150 kts, true out at maybe 190 kts.

  28. Novice people don’t understand airspeed vs ground speed. They don’t understand that the wing stalls not the engine stalls. Tailwind vs headwind vs crosswind. Like Going upstream vs downstream in a boat. The atmosphere is a river of air. The atmosphere is fluid dynamics. Please don’t speak on things that you don’t know! I personally love a tailwind.

  29. The statements about VNO and VNE are the most absurd statements I’ve ever read. VNE and VNO are indicated air speeds not ground or true air speeds. Flight tracking sites are ALWAYS ground speed that’s all they would know. At the altitudes he was at I would guess they never saw an indicated air speed over 170. As I said absurd.


  30. I think he either ran out of fuel or selected an empty tank.
    I saw one propeller, it was not twisted cordwise, so we know he lost power on at least one engine. I believe he lost one engine, declared an emergency and lost the other shortly thereafter. His gear was already down, he may have had flaps out, failed to clean up and pitch for best glide. I think he instinctively just kept hauling back on the controls until he stalled and went straight in.

  31. If you are not a pilot please refrain from posting technical garbage.

    ADS-B indicate ground speed and winds aloft forecast at the time indicate a tailwind for this flight in cruise. Speeds were nominal throughout this flight.

    The flaps on the 414 are relatively small and asymmetrical flaps extension would not cause this kind of an upset. I've had it happen and the effect is controllable.

    Most likely this flight ran out of fuel, and with a twin that never happens with both engines at the same time (unless the system is is cross-feed which is doubtful here) as the engines have completely different tanks, pumps, etc. The left engine quit causing a left roll that the pilot did not correct until it was too late.

    Sometimes at low altitude/airspeed when one engine quits in a small twin it is best to kill the other, maintain a safe glide speed and hit the softest thing you can.

  32. Guys. Maybe he/she has a point because at 10000 feet your TAS is approximately 20% more than IAS. 5000 roughly 10%

    I went and looked at the historical data and assuming zero wind at 5000 makes TAS and GS equal, the IAS had to be up there at the limit

    Sounds possible that a control surface could have been compromised. What if a partial separation occurred?. Not much left of the wings but for sure ntsb will be looking at what is left of them

    What about some of these other comments:

    Fuel starvation?

    Uh. Doesnt cause a sudden nose dive

    What else?

    Failed engine?

    Uh. There is enough rudder obviiously to keep it striaght

    Come on people.

    Something upset that aircraft into an inverted dive

    Ill back a surface issue over fuel or engine

    Nobody has mentioned a prop malfunction but. Eyewitnesses said there was no “crashing sound”

    Ok. I laugh at that too. But. Ill rise above and consider that a prop issue would have caused a distinct ”crashing sound” or at least a pronounced beat frequency between both running engines that ground observers would have commented on.


  33. Twin engine airplanes can and do lose both engines within seconds/minutes of each other all the time due to fuel starvation. Don't believe me, just read the past accident reports.
    Now this guy may not have but, the ear witnesses did say it was silent. It will be interesting to read the final report.

  34. 1200 feet up and on downwind that close to the 405 or the 5 with medium to light traffic.

    I have a hard time believing that engine out cauaed a pilot experienced enough to fly a twin would panic and stall causing it to snap roll inverted into a dive

    All reports say fuel was everywhere and crews were cleaning it up

    Propeller having no rotational damage. Well. Straight in at 90. How could it have a chance to? Seriously. There are no wings left

    I also agree that it more likely it had control issues as opposed to a pilot induced stall at that altitude

    If 400 feet. Yeah i could see a pilot panic but at 1200 you have plenty of time/altitude for single engine or dual engine failure.

    Was the gear out? Anyone know for sure?

    This would be about the location where the pilot would start to dirty up the configuration


  35. Forget TAS vs. IAS vs. GS, it's irrelevant! Obviously he didn't have enough of any of them. Let it go!
    I haven't heard of a runaway prop in years. DC3 maybe? The prop defaults to flat pitch and are still featherable via accumulators if oil pressure is lost.
    Props don't make a "crashing sound", they make a "buzzing sound"...think Tora Tora Tora.
    No missing parts were observed falling from the plane and none have been reported on anybody's lawn, car, roof or road.
    Fuel starvation will cause a dive if engine power lost and the airplane is improperly handled afterwards. Vmc
    Failed engine, if the rudder isn't used to counter roll it will cause a dive.
    The "upset" was either Vmc or aerodynamic stall. Did you notice how how he dam near reversed course at the onset of the dive? (the fuzzy video with the tree in the middle)

  36. "Sometimes at low altitude/airspeed when one engine quits in a small twin it is best to kill the other, maintain a safe glide speed and hit the softest thing you can" . . . Due to incredible population density, hitting something soft is hard to do when off airport at SNA.
    Airmanship and razor sharp single engine proficiency for the multi-pilot (perhaps with a dose of luck) is the best antidote regardless of engine failure cause . . . and that's not an easy thing to acquire for the successful but time-sensitive businessman/operator.

    These airplanes were designed and developed at a time when their $$ operating costs were easier (pre-1974 oil embargo), and when general aviation had flourished impart by the thousands of surviving, well drilled post-Korean and WWII aviators flooding civilian life. Today's era is not as equal. Light airplane manufacturers are nowhere near in demand or as prolific in production. . . and their customers are simply trained to a minimum basic standard that is exceeded only by that volunteered by the individual pilot.


  37. A prop blade always has cordwise twisting if it's under power during a crash.
    Gear was visible in fuzzy video. A eyewitness reported it was out as well.
    No, 1200' you have about 5 seconds to make a decision before airspeed decays. Those flat props and/or gear and flaps create a lot of drag. As someone said before, smack all levers back and pitch for best fast as you can. Maintain direction control, then look for something soft to land on.

  38. With the weight of 5 average people and their luggage, how manageable on a single engine would a C-414 be at min fuel?

  39. I don’t know that I have ever posted a comment, but I can’t help myself in the case of this “Its clear what happened” (sic) post.

    First things first: Raw ADS-B data shows the airplane’s velocity, relative to the earth’s surface...aka, GROUNDSPEED; *not* Indicated, Calibrated, or even True Airspeed.

    Now on to other things:

    Really? Not only have you deduced a “clear” cause for this accident, (within 24 hours, no less) you go on to enlighten the “non pilot types” about Vne?

    Then, you go on a rant with a cockamamy, narrative about asymmetrical flaps, separation of “flight controls”, the timing of gear and flap extensions, etc.

    All the while, you manage to butcher anything close to a clear, concise explanation of these things you’ve come up with.

    My fervent hope is that *you* are not a pilot.

  40. Next we're going to hear how this crash is somehow Trump's fault. Let the NTSB find out what went wrong but I think it's going to be a loss of control due to an engine failure. With all of these twin-engine crashes lately, I'm wondering if it's a pilot training issue? An engine failure at altitude in a twin shouldn't cause it to fall out of the sky when under the control of a well-trained, experienced pilot,PERIOD.

  41. Blame tRUMP? Fake news. This has California liberal all over it.

  42. The risk factor with light NON-turbine / recip twins is that they ALL have marginal power to operate on a single engine. Even at best, some are worse than others.

    These airplanes are fine when cruising along fat, dumb and happy. . . but resort to single engine performance after something goes awry (especially at normal operating weights) and watch out- a sharp skill set is required.

    The single-engine performance risk with a NON-turbine twin is kind of like trying to pass a semi truck with a Volkswagon bus on a busy two-lane highway. . . . . However with turbine power - THAT'S's another story!

  43. There are only two things on earth more dangerous than piston twins – women and handguns!

    I guess "It's clear what happened" got a little schooled- Ground speed Sir! It's IAS that will tear you up!

    ATP, CFI 25K hrs +

  44. I'm a FAA licensed pilot w/ over 1000+ hrs in 400 series Cessna's (both piston and turbo-prop).

    I think that I'm going to wait for the NTSB's Final Report before I comment addressing the FACTUAL cause/s of this accident.

  45. "There are only two things on earth more dangerous than piston twins – women and handguns"!

    Wrong.. Ignorance is easily more dangerous and your comment proves my point.

  46. Damn. Ive never read so many wanna be engineers and my flight time beats your flight time pilots ramble in my life.

    How about this. I have more engine out flight time than most of you have with all engines operating.

    Ahhhhhh ha ha. .... dont forget to wheel chock your sofa side beverage carts

  47. There I was....

    Inverted, closing on the space shuttle as it reentered over Texas....,

    Couldnt see shit due to all the air medals pinned on my chest dangling in my face.....

    Flashing my landing lights at the SR-71 oxcart that wouldnt give way to faster moving traffic....,

  48. Maybe it was a tile broken loose from foam falling off the external tank as it ran out of fuel causing meco and said tile falling from low earth altitude happened to match the ground speed of the c414, crossed patjs and impacted the flap sending the c414 into a death spiral

    Any takers

    And no the tile did not have ads-b installed. Nor was it lazer guided but its ias matched the terminal velocity of an african swallow with a tail wind

    Now go find me a shrubbery. A pretty one

  49. Lucky you ... I just happen to be a Shrubber and I still believe coriolis effect was behind this one.


  50. There's a long standing joke in the pilot circle;
    "How would you know if there is a pilot in the room? He/she will tell you."

    Ain't it the truth though?

  51. Yeah. But today i thought we get to be astronauts!

  52. Looks like everyone is having fun...
    I like the comment - wait for report. One thing to note, whether engine failure or fuel out: Twins are notoriously difficult for pilots to control (read configure properly) on an asymmetrical power situation. Things happen fast and if your at low IAS and altitude, recovery chances are against you. Twin pilots should routinely practice engine out recovery. This incident is, indeed, very sad. Buchanan Air Field planes fly over our house all the time.

  53. So many experts on board here.

    I too will wait for some facts to come from the NTSB.

  54. Well, soon there will be no more of these --beer can death traps-- to ruin people's lives. Folks keep crashing them. 300 and 400 series Cessna's were a blast to fly. But as I grow older, I will not take that calculated risk to fly a 40+ year old aircraft any longer. I don't care how good the maintenance is. Ain't worth it!!

    Ex 310 Junkie

  55. My guess is that the pilot stalled the aircraft. If that's the case, the "emergency" declared by the pilot was the spin condition visible in the video. There's a trend developing in general aviation and in the airline industry of pilots losing control of their aircraft during manual flying segments. Pilots will deny--vehemently--that their dependence upon automation does not erode their hand flying capabilities, but too many fatal crashes are occurring in both VMC and IMC environments after pilots disengage the automation.

  56. How long does it generally take for the final NTSB accident report to post? From data on the plane/engine configuration, and considering distance flown with five passengers with luggage, the plane would have been out of fuel. Flight data shows preset flown course was not veered from except for a single switch back at the coastline above Ojai. Plane then continued set flight path across open water towards Catalina Island (an airstrip that offers no refueling). Flight records show plane speed struggling with Santa Ana cross winds after leaving land, and a dramatic drop in elevation after turning from Catalina to Santa Ana.

  57. @Alexia Pellegrini, it takes at least a year for the final NTSB report to be completed. Perhaps longer depending on work load, number of experts needed. Not necessarily true the plane would be out of fuel. Range on the 414 is about 1,500 miles if fully loaded and total distance from Concord to Orange Country by way of Catalina is around 500 miles. Easily doable in that plane so just let the accident report run its course. The final crash reports I've read have been very thorough.

  58. One more thing - the "dramatic drop in elevation after turning from Catalina to Santa Ana" means absolutely nothing. The plane was at 10,000 feet starting its descent. The dramatic descent was only in the vicinity of the airport at what appeared to be pattern height.

  59. Just happened upon this site as I was interested in any new info on the 414 crash. Alot of comments both helpful and hurtful and others plain ignorant. I am sad to say, I saw the entire crash series unfold in front of me. I was sitting #1 for takeoff, watching the accident aircraft approach from the north, start his turns as requested by the tower, and ultimately roll over and nose dive into the ground. I heard all of his radio calls including the screams of his last transmission. I wish I could erase that. Now the facts as I recall: The aircraft entered a pretty normal standard rate left turn as he intended to enter a right downwind for 20R. Tower asked if he could accept 20L and after answering in the affirmative, continued the left turn which would ultimately be a left 360 to cross midfield and enter left downwind for 20L. Roughly 90 degrees into the initial turn, the bank angle increased to around 60 degrees, followed by a loss of altitude and ultimately a bank angle exceeding 90 degrees and an abrupt nose down attitude. I think its safe to say the aircraft wasn't fueled with Jet A, the control surfaces were not damaged due to excess airspeed. NTSB will investigate but it seems the aircraft slowed to a point of an aerodynamic stall either due to over banking combined with slowing airspeed, or one engine losing power causing a sudden rollover that was unrecoverable at such a low altitude. These are the facts. Hope this helps to curb some of the wild speculation and crazy theories. Lastly, I have thousands of hours and can say that when unexpected things happen close to the ground, it happens QUICK. I don't know about the pilots experience level but I can say the scenario that was presented to him was daunting and he had very few options due to such a low altitude and relatively low airspeed since he had entered the pattern. I'm sure this pilot, like all of us, tried to mitigate the risks as best he knew, and was comfortable enough in the plane to take others lives in his hands. Its easy to speculate and assign blame but really doesn't do any good and often leads to arguments. Aviation has risks that can be overshadowed by the joy of flight. Prayers to those affected


  60. Five lives could have been saved by saying two words, 'minimal fuel'.

  61. I knew Scott (the pilot) and his family. He was a very confident and knowledgeable pilot. Flying was a major passion of much so that he named his real estate company after an aviation term. (Category III) With two young children at home (now orphaned) and his wife and friends in that plane I know he did everything within his power and knowledge to get that plane on the ground safely. Whatever did happen must have taken him by surprise and as others said he was too close to the ground with too little time to recover. May he and the others RIP.